THE YEAR OF THE PITCHER: Jimenez, Halladay, and Wainwright

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THE YEAR OF THE PITCHER: Jimenez, Halladay, and Wainwright
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

In less than half the year we've had some amazing, and I mean amazing games by pitchers. Three no-hitters from Ubaldo Jimenez, Roy Halladay, and Dallas Braden, with the last two being perfect. Technically we've had three perfect games if you count Armando Galarraga's, which I think we should. Have the pitchers finally taken the lead in fantasy value over batters? Lets take a look…

2010
3 no-hitters (Jimenez, Halladay, Braden)
5 complete game one-hitters (Matt Cain, Johnny Cueto, Jon Niese, Mat Latos, Armando Galarraga)
4 complete game two-hitters (Adam Wainwright, Jamie Moyer, Jeff Niemann, Justin Masterson)
3 one-hitters in eight innings pitched (Matt Cain, Brett Cecil, Ted Lilly)

2009
2 no-hitters
4 CG one-hitters
12 CG two-hitters
2 one-hitters in eight IP

2008
2 no-hitters
5 CG one-hitters
8 CG two-hitters
1 one-hitter in eight IP

As you can see, in less than half the games, we already have more complete game no-hitters and one-hitters than 2008 and 2009. So again the question is are pitchers more valuable in fantasy terms this year?

Out of the top 25 ranked players eight are ranked under 25 (Chris Carpenter is No. 26 so I'm including him too). Of those eight, two are relief pitchers. Not even making the top 25 list are some names who are having unreal years too like David Price (33), Jon Lester (36), Latos (37), Andy Pettitte (38), Phil Hughes (42), Mike Pelfrey (44), and Jaime Garcia (46). This gives us a total of 15 in the top 50. Here's the best part, Tim Lincecum isn't even on the top 50 yet, but we know that will change by years end.

In comparison to 2009, there were nine top-25 and 14 in the top 50. For 2008 there were only five in the top 25 and only 12 in the top 50.

Okay, so the rankings weren't a tell-tale sign of how good the 2010 pitchers are but a quick look at ERA definitely shows us the truth:

The 2006 MLB league average ERA was 4.53
The 2007 MLB league average ERA was 4.47
The 2008 MLB league average ERA was 4.32
The 2009 MLB league average ERA was 4.32
The 2010 MLB league average ERA was 4.18

All in all, it's still early in the year and you never know what will happen. Jimenez could go down with an injury tomorrow and offset the whole league's ERA.

So why the huge drop in ERA? Are pitchers actually getting better or are batters getting worse? Did the steroid era catch up with us and are batters are finally human again?


Let's hear your thoughts.
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